Government Surveillance Creates An Orwellian Society

876 words - 4 pages

Howard Rheingold notably mentioned, "You can’t assume any place you go is private because the means of surveillance are becoming so affordable and invisible." Judging by the efficiency of American surveillance, it would seem that Rheingold’s outlook stands as of today. Technology has advanced so powerfully that surveillance has become predominant in our society. On nearly every front, American citizens are under a great threat of control as well as persistent, high-tech surveillance.

It is a well-distinguished fact that the government loves using surveillance – a surveillance’s easy accessibility, regardless of the threat they pose, verifies the government’s love. Surveillance is a part of the government’s life. According to ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), just six weeks after the September 11 attacks, the government passed quite a lot of legislative acts, such as the USA/Patriot Act, that would allow the government to watch doubtful actions. The act was a revision of the nation's surveillance laws that allowed the government's authority to spy on the citizens. The Patriot Act made it easier for the system to gain access to records of citizens' actions being held by a third party. Similarly, Section 215 of the Patriot Act allowed the FBI to force many people - including doctors, libraries, bookstores, universities, and Internet service providers - to turn in information on their clients (“Surveillance Under the USA PATRIOT Act”).
In addition, according to NBC News, the government has expansively interpreted the Patriot Act as allowing it to gather records on not just a particular person, but on millions of Americans with no suspicious actions. And it shows that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court agreed on that interpretation of the law. Also, the FBI’s increased use of the Patriot Act’s because it was used to attain a top-secret national security order wanting telephone companies to turn over information of millions of calls. (Isikoff). This invades every American’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Additionally, because it forces Americans to pause every time they pick up the phone to contemplate whether they want the government to know who they are calling, this infringes on the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.
But further than the evidence, the consequences of the constant surveillance points to something that Americans barely have: privacy. Privacy is an illusion; a beneficial illusion, no question about it, one that allows us to live without being self-conscious. Privacy gives people space to share familiarities and see our mistakes. Nevertheless, the line between private and public space is as permeable as tissue paper. The government’s love of surveillance is quickly understood by...

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